Wil Leitner – Morgantown Roller Vixens

Morgantown Roller Vixens

By: Wil Leitner

I was pretty excited to get the ball rolling on this group project. I feel like I have always been good at working with other people, even though most of the time it’s a little more difficult than working by yourself. Working by yourself gives you the ability to work on your own clock; basically meaning 24/7 opportunities at completing your desired task. With several other people to seemingly “worry” about, not everyone has the same free time to meet up at preferred times. But the group aspect offers a distinct difference, and that’s the ability of combining a wide range of imaginations. With this being a diversity feature, the more minds we had, the better.

I think our group clicked right off the bat that first day in the larger second floor lecture hall in Martin Hall. I’m pretty sure no one in the group had ever previously known one another personally, but we all seemed like the type of people who would work well together. I remember doing a group project in JRL 386 with a girl in my class I was dating at the time. We actually live on the same street, which made it very convenient when we needed to meet, but we were constantly butting heads when it came to devising what things to add and what things to take out. With that being said, I never felt like any of us were clashing over particular preferences to where the project was going. Jared, Zach, and I really dominated the film portion of the feature. They had both taken 487 in previous semesters, so we never had a problem with camera execution, and editing complications. Kayla and Scott were a little on the outside of the group at first, sometime being hard to contact, and not showing up for the first couple meetings we planned, but they pulled through with a great print story, and follow-up interviews that made our package really good. I think they did a fantastic job in the end, and were arguably the most important facet of our group.

I had the idea for our package, as a classmate of mine in 386 had done a similar story on a women’s roller derby league based out of Morgantown, called the Morgantown Roller Vixens. I don’t think many people out there even know there are sports where women skate in bright neon outfits with helmets and knee pads on, while trying to knock each other over. It truly is a one-of-a-kind sport, and I was really proud that we could give not only the team, but the sport itself, some extra exposure. I had done a story on the team earlier in the semester in 487, so I had all the important contacts available at my finger tips for us to delve through. I think the most difficult part of the project was finding the right b-roll. They cancelled practice a couple times on a us in that three week period, and another couple times we couldn’t all agree on a good night to go on. The team only practices on Tuesdays, and Thursdays as well, so that only makes six available practices in our 3 week window we had to complete the assignment. The two practices we attended happened to be relatively mild in the action category, compared to previous practices I had gone to that earlier in the semester that made the sport look like ice hockey on steroids. That was a little bit of a disappointment, because I definitely think our final sets of b-roll doesn’t give the sports ferociousness enough justice.

A small thing that was rather tough was getting good interview responses knowing that the person being asked the questions had to do their best to recite the question in their answer. Some of our questions may have been a bit difficult to perfectly recite back, thus sort of confusing our interviewee rather. Nothing to serious, but I don’t think they truly knew how we wanted them to formulate their responses in open-ended form.

Something I would have liked to see more of as well, was us talk about the history of roller derby, and really show our audience how legitimate of a sport this really has always been. I hope that the people who see our video know the history of roller derby and know it was at one time a very important part of our culture.

Overall it was a good experience for the entire group, and I wouldn’t mind working with these guys again in the future. I hope you guys continue to assign this project in future 459 level classes.

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